Unilever completes sale of tea business to the CVC Capital Partners

NETHERLANDS – Unilever, a British multinational consumer goods company, has completed the sale of its tea business, Ekaterra, to the CVC Capital Partners Fund VIII for €4.5 billion (US$4.64B).

The sale follows a strategic review announced last year, in which Unilever entered into an agreement for the sale of Ekaterra on a cash-free, debt-free basis in November 2021.

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The newly announced deal excludes Unilever’s tea business in India, Nepal, and Indonesia, as well as its interests in the Pepsi Lipton ready-to-drink tea joint ventures and associated distribution businesses.

The acquisition is subject to regulatory approvals and is expected to be completed in the second half of 2022.

CVC Capital Partners managing partner, Pev Hooper said: “Ekaterra is a great business, built on strong foundations of leading brands and a purpose-driven approach to its products, people, and communities.”

 Ekaterra is well-positioned in an attractive market to accelerate its future growth, and to lead the category’s sustainable development.”

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The tea unit has a portfolio of more than 30 brands, including Lipton, PG Tips, Pukka, T2, and Tazo, and generates annual revenue of approximately €2 billion (US$2.06B).

Nathalie Roos appointed CEO of Ekaterra

Meanwhile, the global tea business Ekaterra has also announced the appointments of Nathalie Roos as CEO and Pierre Laubies as chair of the board.

Roos is currently a non-executive director of Pret-a-Manger and Bel Group and succeeds John Davison as Ekaterra CEO.

 Laubies, on the other hand, brings 30 years of leadership experience, gained at companies including Mars and Campbell Soup Company.

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The leadership changes and divestment come after a transfer deal of PT Unilever Indonesia’s Tbk (UNVR) business assets to the Ekaterra Group worth US$5.66million or equivalent to Rp 85.84 billion in June.

The assets released by Unilever included production machines and equipment located in Cikarang and Agriwangi to Ekaterra.

They also include a recently inaugurated facility in Dubai in March, that houses both, a corporate head office for Ekaterra’s Africa, Middle East & Turkey (AMET) region as well as a manufacturing complex, the Lipton Jebel Ali (LJA) factory.

The LJA factory became Unilever’s 1st carbon-neutral site since 2019 and Ekaterra remains keen on reducing the facility’s contribution to CO2 emissions in the region by shifting to the use of solar energy in the future, reports Mid-east information.

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